Woolies’ new plan to meet soaring demand
Supermarket giant Woolworths is set to open tens of thousands of extra weekly home delivery windows for online customers from this week.
The extra capacity will be fulfilled out of hundreds of Woolies supermarkets across Australia as well as a new "Pop-Up" delivery hub in Notting Hill, Melbourne which will launch at the end of the week.
In supermarkets, Woolworths staff will gather online orders for customers before passing them onto Sherpa and Drive Yello couriers to fulfil the "last-mile" delivery.
These orders are capped at 40 items and will be delivered next day.
Sherpa and Drive Yello have signed up more than 5000 new delivery drivers onto their platforms to help meet the soaring demand for online groceries.
Together with recent increases out of the existing home delivery network, Woolworths has now doubled its online capacity over the past month.
Amanda Bardwell, managing director of Woolworths' digital arm, WooliesX, said the company was noticing a "big increase in demand" for home delivery as more and more Aussies limit their outings.
"While our first priority remains the most vulnerable in the community, we can now serve more of our regular online customers, including Delivery Unlimited subscribers, as well," she said.
"We've worked hard behind the scenes to find innovative ways to provide this much-needed additional delivery capacity across Australia.
"In partnership with Sherpa and Drive Yello, we now have a highly flexible and scalable way to meet the needs of many more of our online customers in the weeks and months ahead."
Woolworths' Melbourne Pop-Up Delivery Hub is housed in a 7000 sq m warehouse in Notting Hill and is expected to service more than 5000 orders each week.
The Hub - which won't be open to walk-up shoppers - will hold a curated range of popular online products and will employ more than 400 Melburnians.
Ms Bardwell said the company would "keep a close eye on customer feedback" to see if similar sites elsewhere in Australia were needed.
Woolworths also offers Community Pick Up from more than 850 supermarkets across the country, which allows customers to place a pick-up order online for themselves or on behalf of another member of the community.
Earlier this month, Woolworths also announced a partnership with food services supplier PFD to support the temporary fulfilment of orders to its B2B customers.
And last month Woolworths introduced an $80 Basics Box of meals, snacks and essential items to simplify online ordering for customers in need.
Originally published as Woolies' new plan to meet soaring demand